A Solution for Group "Best Wishes" Certificates During the Pandemic

Originally published at: A Solution for Group "Best Wishes" Certificates During the Pandemic - TidBITS

Faced with the inability to gather signatures in person on a commemorative certificate for a departing friend, Adam Engst simulated the process by collecting messages with Google Forms, turning them into text graphics with handwriting fonts, and arranging them in a layout program.

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Nice job Adam, I hadn’t thought of using Google Forms/Sheets to gather this kind of material before but a good suggestion. Also have become a firm fan of Affinity Publisher, haven’t loaded ID in months.

Why is using Google Forms for this better than sending an email using Bcc:? I haven’t used Google Forms before.

In this case, email would have been a lot of wrangling. I kept the certificate a secret by setting my friend’s email subscription to NOMAIL in the mailing list manager, sending the message soliciting signatures (with an admonition to not reply), and then restored her subscription. So I could have asked people to send me their messages in email, but then I would have had 20 separate messages to receive, track, and probably reply to. Plus, I think people would have written a lot more because they would have been in the context of email, where long-form notes are fine.

By using Google Forms, the messages stayed short and were all automatically collected in the Google Sheet, making it super easy to copy and paste into the Font Meme tool, one after another. If I’d been doing that in email, I would have had to create a label for all the messages, label each one as it came in, and then go back to that collection to extract each message. And getting them would have required more actions than simply clicking the next cell in a spreadsheet.

So yes, it could easily have been done via email, but that would have required more work on my part during the production phase.

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